Universal Credit for Housing Options, Part 1 course outline:

3 hours on Day 1, including registration, course presentation & practice, break and time for questions.

  • UC eligibility & related issues 
  • The UC calculation 

Local authority Housing Options services are required to undertake an assessment where someone is at risk of homelessness. Where a duty is owed, local authorities will need to look into the circumstances of the household and establish their housing needs. Working out what a household can afford, particularly by way of private rented sector discharge, is important. Understanding the benefits that homeless households are receiving and checking Universal Credit payments, as well as checking the Benefit Cap, are key aims of this course. 

By the end of this part of the course participants will:

  • Understand how the Benefit Cap operates in Universal Credit and when claimants are likely to be affected. 
  • Understand how Universal Credit affects the wider benefits system and how UC interacts with other benefits.
  • Know who can claim Universal Credit including an awareness of restrictions in respect of mixed age couples, people from abroad, young people, students, people with capital and how absences from the normal home are treated. 
  • Know when a claimant should claim Universal Credit in respect of their housing costs, and when they should claim Housing Benefit instead. 
  • Understand the eligibility rules for the various elements that can be included in a UC award. 
  • Understand when claimants are exempt from the Benefit Cap in Universal Credit.

Universal Credit for Housing Options, Part 2 course outline:

3 hours on Day 1, including registration, course presentation & practice, break and time for questions.

This part of the course looks at the UC Housing Element and how amounts are worked out. This part of the course goes on to look at the earnings taper in Universal Credit and how to complete calculations.   

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Understand how the presence of a non-dependant can affect a UC award. 
  • Understand how the Local Housing Allowance rules operate in UC including exemptions for the Shared Accommodation Rate. 
  • Understand how different forms of income affect a UC award including earnings for people who are employed and net profits for those who are self-employed. 
  • Have practised calculating UC for a range of scenarios. 
  • Be able to anticipate the make up of likely awards at the point of application and check that they are correct once an entitlement decision has been made.

Methods of delivery
This course is delivered online live with a BTC trainer. It is a practical course delivered using a combination of trainer presentation, exercises and case studies, group discussion and games. Participants will be provided with e-learning supporting material including PowerPoint slide handouts, a comprehensive training pack pdf and additional resources. There is a 20-30 minute break halfway through each part of the course.

Intended audience
This course is intended for Housing Options staff working with Universal Credit claimants who are moving into privately rented accommodation. A basic knowledge of the wider benefits system is assumed. Staff new to the benefits system should consider first attending our Introduction to Welfare Benefits course. 

Certificates & post course support
Participants will receive an e-certificate for completing both Parts 1&2 (6 hours) of any complete BTC course. This also guarantees eligibility to access our free 12 months post-course advice service (including priority entry to free webinars).

Course instructions
This online course is run over Zoom. In the week before the course, you will receive an email with Zoom link(s) and access the supporting materials. You will need to download (or print) the pack (and slides, if you wish) before each part of the course, unless you have selected a printed pack when booking.

Participants will need a good wifi connection and a suitable computer/laptop to access both the Zoom session and the pack throughout. You may wish to use a separate device for the pack (or split your screen) if you cannot or do not wish to print. We recommend participants log in a few minutes beforehand. You may also wish to have a pen and paper handy to make notes.